The song still takes me back. I’m sitting against my locker, headphones on, R Kelly blaring in my ears, tears rolling down my cheeks. Countless lunches I sat against my locker, crying, wishing someone might care enough to help me… to HEAR me. I didn’t believe I could fly… I was sinking, and there was no one to dig me out. All I wanted was to die. The pain was so bad that sometimes it helped to watch myself bleed. Other times I’d punch myself in the face, or try to break my own wrist by slamming it against my bedpost.
I don’t know why really. The only thing that comes to mind is that people cared about people that were hurt. People that were hurt were special, and I wasn’t. I wanted to be special. I wanted someone to hold me while I cried. I needed to be heard.
Suicide is the second highest cause of death in Canada, yet the silence surrounding it is deafening. When I was 16, the day came when I knew it was time to end my life. I sat on my bed and calmly counted all the aspirin I had in the bottle. 95. I took them five at a time. The pain I’d held in silence for too long was more than I could stand. But I even failed at that. I lived.
My life changed at 18 when I was given a vision for my future. I saw a life of happiness and success, travel and making a difference. I found mentors who saw the best in me, and people who believed in me long before I believed in myself. They built me up so much that I eventually started to believe it too.
Today, I get knocked down. When I’m down it seems like I’ll never get back up, but quicker and quicker I find myself standing, refusing to be silenced, refusing live in the victimhood of my circumstances, and asking myself, so what DO you want?
I was so excited to learn that World Pulse correspondents will all have a mentor. I've always found that mentors have been more powerful for me than counsellors because they get me to focus on the things I really want instead of what I don't. I’ve learned that focusing on what hurts only creates more of what hurts. I know my true power is in creating.
It’s time to make changes in the world. Teenage girls who slit their wrists can’t afford for us to wait. Mothers who are living in isolation need help now. Women all over need someone to HEAR them. To say, YES, I UNDERSTAND. I WILL WALK WITH YOU AND YOU WILL NOT BE ALONE. Women and girls need to know that other women, and other girls will stand beside them. I see teenage girls rallying around their hurting friend instead of gossiping and throwing knives in their backs. I see mothers, supporting mothers, and working together to create positive change in their communities, instead of banning their children from playing with another child because they are so busy finding fault in that mom. I see women and girls, who are in pain, whose voices are shaking, taking a leap of faith and speaking out, sharing their pain, and I see them finding a soft place to fall, so when they shake themselves off and step up, they are stronger and more powerful, and inspire anyone who watches. That is the world I see. That’s how we MUST be. It’s time. This is the goal of our non-profit MotherKind. To inspire, educate and empower women worldwide, to rise above their circumstances, create lasting change in their communities and live their dreams.
As a World Pulse correspondent, I will talk about the things we are often afraid to talk about so that no one ever needs to feel isolated. I will inspire women to believe in their own worth, and to stand for something larger than themselves. I will be courageous, vulnerable, and passionate as I reach out with my heart and hands to join together with our sisters, mothers, aunts, daughters, and inspire these critical changes and find positive visions for our lives. Our futures depend on it.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Your Vision.